The Santa Monica College (SMC) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has received three of five 2008 awards in the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center network.

Among the awards won by the SMC center was Best Overall Performance, considered the highest honor for the Los Angeles Regional network, which encompasses Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

The SMC center also received awards for the Highest Capital Infusion and Highest Number of Long-Term (Extended) Clients.

“Not only are these awards significant as they compare to the network performance of the other seven regional SBDC centers, but they indicate that the Santa Monica SBDC is superior in its performance of meeting the over-arching goal of making a noteworthy economic impact in the community,” said Michelle King, acting director of the SMC Small Business Development Center.

King said the 2008 Best Overall Center Performance Award was given to the SMC center because it counseled 751 distinct clients in the areas of business start-up requirements, business strategic planning, marketing and sales, financing assistance, Web designing, legal assistance, international trade and import/export, business accounting, financial management, and customer and employee relations.

The 2008 Highest Capital Infusion Award was given because, as of November 30th, the SMC center had assisted local businesses with obtaining more than $3.1 million in capital, King said. The capital infusions include loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA), non-SBA loans and equity investment.

The 2008 Highest Number of Long-Term (Extended) Clients Award was based on counseling hours, and King said in this case, SMC’s center provided five or more counseling hours over multiple years to 176 clients.

“We are so proud of our accomplishment and the free business services we are able to provide the greater community,” she said. “All of these services are made possible with the support of our funding partners, including SMC, the SBA, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the City of Santa Monica.”

The SMC Small Business Development Center opened in January 2006 at the Santa Monica Airport and it provides free one-on- one confidential business counseling services to people who have a business idea and to entrepreneurs who want to grow their business or make them more environmentally friendly.

The center also offers low-cost basic business and legal workshops.

Information, (310) 434-3566 or